Tamil Eelam FA qualify for 2020 CONIFA World Cup

Tamil Eelam FA will be among the 16 teams competing in the 2020 Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) World Football Cup, after an impressing double victory in the qualifiers powered the team through to the tournament. The team played two CONIFA World Football 2020 qualifiers in December against East Turkistan and West Papua. Victory in both games saw Tamil Eelam gain enough points to qualify for the 2020 World Football Cup taking place between 30 May - 7 June 2020 in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia.

Iranian Ambassador offers training opportunities for Sri Lankan police and military

Iran’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mohammad Zaeri Amirani met with Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne at his office, to discuss possible training opportunities that could be offered to Sri Lankan Police and Armed Forces personnel in Iran, on Thursday. After briefing Gunaratne of the current political circumstance in Iran, Ambassador Amirani presented the opportunities to train the Sri Lankan Police and Armed Forces personnel in Iran in a move “for improved bilateral cooperation and friendship between Iran and Sri Lanka”. He also went onto applaud the Sri Lankan government’s efforts in...

Families of disappeared pay tribute to Tamil political prisoner

Families of the disappeared in Vavuniya paid tribute to a Tamil political prisoner who passed away after 26 years of imprisonment, as they marked over 1,050 days of protest last week. Sellapillai Mahendran was arrested as a teenager during a round-up in Batticaloa on September 27, 1993. He passed away last week after 26 years of imprisonment, based on a false confession produced following a month of torture in detention. In the early years of his imprisonment, Mahendran’s parents visited him, but after their deaths, he had received no visits in prison except from politicians. Many families of...

Sri Lankan police charge Tamil Guardian correspondent over reporting local government corruption

Tamil Guardian's Batticaloa-based correspondent S Nilanthan has been charged and told to appear in court next week over his reporting on alleged corruption with regards to a local government official. Nilanthan had been reporting on Tamil-language news platforms on corruption allegations made about the Chenkalady divisional secretary (DS). He had also covered a protest against the DS outside the Divisional Secretariat, carried out by local residents. The journalist believes that the DS had used his influence to order Sri Lankan police officers to threaten him with arrest by visiting his home...

‘Countries are angry with our armed forces,’ claims Sri Lankan prime minister

Sri Lanka’s prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that countries were "angry with our armed forces,” as he addressed new troops at a passing out parade in the south last month. The prime minister, who stands accused of overseeing war crimes during his previous term as president of Sri Lanka, went on to state that the Sri Lankan military should be “proud” of its record. Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed by a 2009 offensive launched by Rajapaksa, that saw hospitals shelled, widespread sexual violence and extrajudicial killings. “Sovereignty as well as very existence of our...

Slain Tamil journalist remembered in Amparai

A Tamil journalist who was murdered by the Sri Lankan army in 1985 was commemorated by his family, colleagues and community members in Amparai last week. Ganapathipillai Devaraja was arrested in a Sri Lankan military roundup on December 25 1985, and assassinated at the Vattuvan army camp. He was working as a journalist for Virakesari at the time.

Sri Lankan police threaten family of Tamil Guardian correspondent with arrest warrant

Sri Lankan police in plain clothing entered the house of a Tamil Guardian correspondent in Batticaloa, purportedly to arrest him, and threatened his family when it was discovered he was not at home. Police forcibly entered the home of journalist S Nilanthan on Thursday night at around 9.10pm. Since Nilanthan was not at the house, police threatened his family and warned them to tell Nilanthan to appear at Eravur police station the following morning. The journalist’s family have been left in fear that the police refused to provide reasons for seeking Nilanthan’s arrest, and that they appeared...

Sri Lankan officer wanted over abduction and murder of Tamils is released on bail

A former Sri Lankan intelligence officer, who had previously evaded arrest over the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths and the assassination of an MP, has been released on bail this week. Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias 'Navy Sampath' was in remand custody over the abduction of the eleven Tamil youth from 2008 to 2009, who were held in navy bases at Trincomalee and Colombo before being almost certainly murdered. He was also wanted in connection with the 2006 murder of Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj.

Sri Lanka’s government to scrap Counter Terrorism Bill in favour of previous legislation

Sri Lanka’s cabinet has decided to scrap the Counter Terrorism Bill which was introduced by the previous government, in favour of the replaced Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the Daily Mirror reports . Yesterday, the cabinet approved the Foreign Relations Minister, Dinesh Gunawardane’s proposal to withdraw the legislation. The change in legislation was forced after Sri Lanka co-sponsored a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in 2015, which called on the government to repeal the PTA and replace it with a law "in accordance with contemporary international best practises." The UN and...

Sri Lanka ‘prepared to face internal or external threats’ says war crimes accused commander

The head of the Sri Lankan army warned that the military must be prepared to face “any internal or external threats” in an address to troops on New Year’s Day. “We all should determine to attach the highest degree of priority to the enforcement of National Security needs at all times while being prepared to face any internal or external threats upon receipt of proper training and continued exercises,” said Shavendra Silva, who is accused of overseeing a litany of war crimes. Silva was the head of Sri Lanka’s notorious 58 Division, an army unit that committed grave violations of international...

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